What Readers are saying about The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill
“This historical novel by Diane Helentjaris needs a Trigger Warning for readers—it’s a one-sit read. The best thing you can do after picking up this book is head to the nearest hotel that has room service. Order a pot of coffee and whatever you want to nosh on. Settle down for a good read without a care in the world beyond the Irish lass, Ivy O’Neill, as she becomes an indentured servant in the New World.”
– Lenora Rain-Lee Good, author, The Bride’s Gate and Other Assorted Writings
“When she was eleven, Ivy O’Neil’s family home was attacked and burned by English soldiers and her baby brother killed in the raid. The family had to flee their home in Ardmore for and ended up living in an abandoned house in An Rinn, an area that the English had no interest in. When Ivy and her brother, Sean, are kidnapped by an unscrupulous English ship captain and taken to Maryland colony in America, where they are sold into indentured servitude, Ivy must call upon all her wits and strength just to survive, first the perilous sea voyage and then the existence as a stranger in an even stranger land.
Ivy survives anti-Catholic, anti-Irish prejudice and being falsely accused of murder and comes to learn that people are not as different as she had long believed.
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neil by Diane Helentjaris is a fine work of historical fiction that brings American colonial history to colorful life, warts and all. The author doesn’t sugar coat the colonial experience as too often happens and gives a different perspective that can be found in the history texts. She gives voice to those who, like the African slaves who were brought against their will via the middle passage, have been left off the pages of the history books, but whose labors are what truly built the nation.
The hallmark of good historical fiction is that it tells an interesting story and the history is the backdrop to the character’s actions. You come away with new knowledge of history without feeling that you’ve been lectured to, and the knowledge sticks because you got it through a vicarious experience.
I found this book a riveting read and give it four and a half stars.”
– Charles Ray, author.
Julie Barrett –
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neil by Diane Helentjaris
1690 Ireland. Ivy and her sister Honora are berry picking and they hear turmoil at the house.
This story follows the life of Ivy as she’s brought to the US and is sold as a salve and has years to work it off…
Love everything to do with weaving, spinning, knitting, loom work, dyeing of the wool and so much more.
This story fascinated me as there’s never a dull moment.
Travel, twists and turns and romance to religion, survival, history of the new world all told in a fun way.
Very captivating story from beginning to end. This could possibly be my favorite for the whole year it’s that strong of a story.
Received this review copy from AIA Publishing and this is my honest opinion.
Patty Apostolides –
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill by Diane Helentjaris is a well-written historical novel. In 1690 Ireland, British soldiers come and turn Ivy O’Neill’s life upside down, but the real test of her character occurs ten years later when she is whisked away to America.
The author has researched this period well and captured the essence of Ireland and Maryland with fine details, painting a realistic world filled with adventure, danger, and love. I loved the ending and didn’t want this story to end. I highly recommend this masterfully written story! Five out of five stars! –Patty Apostolides, MFA, Author and Director HWGW.
Joyce Meadows Powell –
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neil
By Diane Helentjaris
Set in Ireland in 1690. This novel is the thrilling adventure of a young Irish girl who was kidnapped and sold by pirates. Having survived the deplorable conditions of the ships hold, she was sold to the highest bidder in an unknown land. She was now an indentured servant to this giant of a man. Once you begin this story, you’ll be unable to put it down. Exciting, heartwarming , and historical, this book is definitely not one you’ll want to miss!
Trish Harris –
A riveting story about loss , love and inequality set in Ireland and Maryland during the colonial period of our forming nation . We are drawn into the practical reality of economics vs the personal devastation caused by Indenture-hood.
Diane Helentjaris hit a home run with this book !
Linda H Sittig –
As a lover of Irish historical fiction, I tore into this book and was not disappointed. A well-paced story that carries the reader along with both adventure and emotion. Ivy O’Neil becomes a character you will root for and remember long after finishing the book. For readers not versed in Irish history, the ordeal of Irish children kidnapped to become indentured servants is another tribute to the survival instinct of the people of Ireland. Diane Helentjaris has crafted a wonderful story, bringing in lush details of Ireland and the essence of Irish culture. This book is a highly recommended read.
Regina Lemaster Kostyu –
As a former archivist I love and appreciate all the historical everyday life details making this story so fascinating. History is best understood through ordinary people’s everyday life experiences. Obviously well researched, this perhaps not well known time period comes to life. Once you start reading you don’t want to stop. A very well written story.